Saddle Creek | Broken Spindles | Reviews



Author: Mike Hammer
11/05/2005 | | Album Review
"Burn my body, I'm taking up space," is a lyric from the latest Broken Spindles album. While this album
is not garbage, it is, unfortunately, a space filler. Previous Broken Spindles albums have had certain great,
catchy spots too them but never completely felt fulfilled, and "Inside/Absent" is another album that is good enough, but still disposable.

The third album from Broken Spindles starts off with a track called "Inward" it is an eerie and shrieking
instrumental piece some low piano/keyboard sounds, then the second track "This is an introduction"
kicks in with an electronic beat, and it becomes a more recognizable Broken Spindles album.

Spindles is the side project of Joel Peterson of The Faint, and it was pretty blatantly obvious on the
first two Spindles albums, but on this one, it isn't as noticeable. Peterson said he wrote this album entirely
on his laptop, with no input from anyone, while he was on tour with The Faint and Beep Beep. The resulting
songs are more sparse and focused, and almost troubadour like - except Peterson reveals his life and
problems overtop electronic beats, not an acoustic guitar.

Peterson sing/speaks very straightforward, pleading lyrics, overtop pounding aluminum beats, and he
sounds extremely isolated, but confident. "Excuse me, I'd like to introduce me, the best that I can,"
Peterson says on "This is an Introduction." He goes on to talk about family and personal problems,
and the distance he has forged between them.

The song is cut short when his "love" decides to leave him. The pattern of personal revelations spouted
on top elector rock beats continue throughout the album, and while the lyrics are pretty song, they hardly
seem complete. It seems as if Peterson cuts off the songs before the story ends, unfortunately. The
stories are good enough to make you want to listen - ignoring the somewhat repetitious beats with
occasional wild, useless, changes - so it's disappointing when the song ends without the story fully told.

The inability to move the songs to a proper climax is what hurts Peterson. On each of his albums, your
ears perk up when a track starts, you bob your head a bit, follow the words, thrust out your bottom lip,
and you keep doing that through the whole song without noticing what is going on in the song.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. I think a lot of techno DJs shoot for that manipulative rhythm,
but it is disappointing with Spindles because Peterson has catchiness and a flair for the dramatic and
touching, but you're not always paying attention when he whips it out.

Inside/Absent is a solid album. And Broken Spindles should keep making albums, but the albums need
to grow differently to somehow allow Peterson to take everyone into his vision with him.


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